A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie has a pretty powerful (if superficially explored) message: It's OK to admit fear; it's the first step to overcoming it -- though acting out of fear can destroy you. And when you're called to greatness, take heed.
Positive Role Models
Though he's a bit of a cad, Hal Jordan is a good guy with a caring heart and a fearless nature that he harnesses for good. There are villains, too, but they're clearly portrayed as such and are ultimately doomed.
Violence & Scariness
The main monster, the Parallax, is pretty scary and could definitely frighten younger children. The movie is filled with loud explosions and battle scenes, mostly involving a lot of punching and throwing and, in one case, deadly light rays that sear through a character's core. There's little blood or gore, though in one scene, a syringe is shown plunging into a character’s eye. Another tries to attack his own father.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and kissing; a couple is shown briefly under the covers on a bed. It's implied that Hal has had a one-night stand (he's shown in his underwear). Brief cleavage shot.
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Occasional use of words like "s--t," "a--hole," "goddammit," "hell," "son of a bitch," "crap," "damn," "goddamn," and "bastard"; a character gives another the finger.
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Products & Purchases
Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. A few labels/brands visible, including Pabst, Apple, and an LG phone.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drinking of beer and hard liquor at a bar, but no one gets sloshed. Social drinking at parties.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this big-screen take on the classic comic book superhero, starring Ryan Reynolds as a cocky test pilot who morphs into a superhero, offers lots of fast-paced, combat-filled action, much of it cartoonish in nature. And the movie's Parallax monster is pretty scary (especially for younger kids), but there's isn't much in the way of blood or gore -- though one scene does show a syringe going into a character's eye. The movie is humorous at some moments and intense during others; it superficially addresses heavy topics like death and childhood trauma. Expect infrequent swearing ("s--t," "a--hole," etc.), some drinking (mostly social, by adults), flirting, kissing, and a shot or two of characters in skimpy apparel (one after an implied one-night stand). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Buoyant, irreverent, and not entirely satisfying, GREEN LANTERN is, as superhero movies go, heavy on the artillery (special effects) and light on profundity. Is it really that difficult to create a superhero with complexity (Spider-Man and Iron Man excepted)? It's not for lack of material; Hal Jordan, after all, has plenty of childhood trauma to mine. Although the movie acknowledges his torment, it spends much more time painting him as a bad-boy-with-a-heart enlivened by a ring that allows him to perform super-cool tricks. (As Hammond, Saarsgard does a better job at three-dimensionality but is also plagued by too much theatricality.)
The movie admittedly engaging at first -- wouldn't you be agog, too, if you discovered you had the ability to create anything simply from willpower and thought? But the conceit gets old quickly. Characters that could easily have lent Hal gravitas -- his nephew, his brothers -- disappear without a trace. Any nod to his shades of gray are quickly erased. This isn't to say that Reynolds fails; on the contrary, his easy charm appeals. But next time (if there is a next time), can his Jordan plumb more emotional depths?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.